Adding new features to Twitter with

For me, Twitter does two things exactly the opposite way round to how I want them:

  1. @replies don’t trigger mail notifications, but they do have an RSS feed
  2. Direct messages don’t come over RSS, but they do go via email

I don’t know how it is for everyone else, but I find it easier to keep on top of direct messages precisely because of this arrangement. The situation is complicated by the fact that only tweets starting with “@yourname” come into your replies box, so you have to use (or something similar) to find ALL the tweets meant for you.

This is where (and its cousins, Yotify and come in, as they have been created to take changes in RSS feeds and pipe them to email, IM and SMS. It’s been dead simple to set up a account that monitors this RSS feed:


…and emails me whenever there is a new tweet.

These notification services are really interesting to me from the point of view of building mashups. They are taking on two roles, the first of which is responding to changes in data (I’ve previously called this giving mashups a “nervous system“); the second is shifting data from one transmission format to another, which allows you to keep it moving through a system where the input and output formats of two steps in a mashup don’t necessarily match.

I’m thinking of this second idea as preserving “data momentum” in a system. You can then make it a design goal, for a system that admits data in and pushes it out, to work with an appropriate range of data formats that you can preserve data momentum if you’re building a mashup with this system.


  1. Posted June 15, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

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  2. Posted July 29, 2010 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Very interesting .. thanks you

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